Forums > MaxMSP

Online documentation for Max/MSP 5 as PDF file?

August 15, 2008 | 10:45 am

wouldn’t it be possible, please, to collect all the product online documentation (html) files and agregate them into one PDF file which can then be easily downloaded?!

i guess that would be appreciated by quite a few users and i guess i’m not the first one with such an idea.

August 20, 2008 | 7:12 am

500+ views up to now and no reply or comment? ok…

August 20, 2008 | 7:47 pm

probably not going to happen since pdf might be a step backwards from the integrated direction chosen. you can do this yourself though by going to each page, saving the webpage into a folder and then opening the index.html page which will then allow you to access each page easily from your browser even when you’re not on the internet.

i know, it’s not the answer you wanted, but… otherwise, you could try sending a very nice and polite request to
support at cycling 74 dot com

August 21, 2008 | 5:27 am

August 21, 2008 | 11:22 am

Somewhere in the world there is a unix-based HTML -> Postscript (!) converter. I had printed java documentation that was produced using the program.

I’m sorry, I don’t know the name (probably html2ps), who wrote it, where to find it, or anything more. You should be able to track it down with some assiduous googling. Once you have Postscript, on Mac OS you can open the file w/Preview and it will generate a PDF version.

I don’t suppose C74 has a lot of interest in producing PDF documentation nowadays. The HTML-based online documentation is so well integrated into Max (with their own HTML browser). There would be considerable work involved to get anywhere near the same integration with PDF. OTOH, nothing beats paper for reading while you’re in the bathroom.-)

August 21, 2008 | 5:29 pm

Quote: Stefan Tiedje wrote on Thu, 21 August 2008 06:27
> I have an old printed Max manual in a black ring binder. Its probably
> for Max 2.5 or something like that. I want to get rid of it, and would
> send it to the best offer plus shipping…
> I also have a more recent one probably around Max 3.5, same applies for
> that…
> Hey these are historical documents, because paper is obsolete nowadys… ;-)

i’ve got max 4 manuals sitting on the shelf, and they’ve been gathering dust for a few years now… i’m still feeling guilty about all those dead trees!


August 22, 2008 | 7:09 am

ok ok, i see… :)
i just like to read the stuff even when i’m away from the PC, not gazing at the screen all the time, mark some parts of the documentation which seem important to me etc.

that’s why i asked.

cheers, guys.

May 24, 2009 | 8:06 am

I guess one could make a script that iterates the online documentation and puts out a compilation of them as pdf (with php or java)


August 20, 2009 | 1:49 pm

anyone made this?
I’d like to read offline!

February 4, 2011 | 12:22 pm

I have done this, you can download it from my website for free :), i did it for all my class mates as some of us prefer to read it as a pdf/book rather than on screen

hope it helps

February 4, 2011 | 12:58 pm

Thanks a lot !

February 5, 2011 | 11:21 am

Oooo Max manual on an eReader :D

February 9, 2011 | 2:41 am

@Flypro: Thanks for doing this! Now I can read it on my iPhone on the bus.

February 9, 2011 | 10:50 am

:-) Thank you.

February 9, 2011 | 5:23 pm

I wanted to chime in and say thanks for this! Though the Max help system is great, I do like having a pdf of all the pages because sometimes I look around the help manual to try and find any aspects of Max I haven’t explored, techniques I haven’t mastered, or quirks that I didn’t know existed. With the entire manual printed out, I can go through it sequentially to find those areas, and mark those pages (which I had been previously doing by opening the pages in a web browser and printing them to .pdf).

@Flypro: any chance you could share with us how you did this, so we don’t have to bother you each time the manual is updated?

February 9, 2011 | 7:15 pm

Hey Everyone,

:), just want to say thank you to everyone so far by the positive feedback i’m glad that it helps, if any new versions start to appear i will update the max manual and include the free link to the website :),

@thoulcroft, hey thanks for the positive feedback, to make the pdf it was really simple and easier than expected, i have adobe reader professional 10, and one of the options it has is to create a pdf from html, it also has an option from where to collect the html pages from, all i did was copy the site address on to it and left it for couple of hours, came back and it was completed :)

hope this helps, if anyone has any other ideas of converting whole pages into websites i really recommend using adobe reader its brilliant and really easy to use.

kindest regards

Dani …… Happy Maxin!!!

February 9, 2011 | 9:30 pm

Thank you

Anyone done this with the max msp c74 articles?

February 10, 2011 | 3:04 am

I miss two things about PDFs, cmd-tab and Gregory Taylor’s treating me like a toddler (in a good way) through out the whole thing. This is not to disparage the tutorials now, (I havent used them) but the unified human plain writing style seems gone. I still think that without him writing those PDF documents, I might not have embraced max so quickly. It was my first time encountering truly great technical documentation. And now that I just typed that sentence, I might have to reconsider some life choices.

March 27, 2011 | 6:40 pm

@flypro wanted to say thanks man, I wanted to be able to read all my documents on the go from my ipad; I had the reference on my computer but not as a pdf. This is awesome, thanks!

March 28, 2011 | 1:15 am

Seriously Thank you, I have been wanting this in PDF for quite some time now. Mostly for use on my iphone and ereader, (I have transfered most of my manuals to PDF and use ONE reader in my studio, with all my manuals for reference. So much cleaner and easier than having binders and binders and binders…

yuou get the idea.

This is awesome.

Many Thanks!

August 8, 2011 | 12:37 am

Yeah great link, thanks!!!!

August 8, 2011 | 2:28 am

wonderful, new bricks for the shithouse!

August 8, 2011 | 2:34 am

A PDF like that has been available on my website since last December, after I got explicit permission from Cycling74 to make it available. It was trivial to create it from adobe acrobat professional.

See bottom of

November 24, 2011 | 10:21 pm


The life of a student is a hard one ;), cheers for update.


November 28, 2011 | 12:34 am

hi dhjdhjdhj, are you planning on doing one for MAx 6?

November 28, 2011 | 12:42 am


Well max 6 doc isn’t available yet, but can be done really easily, i can do it once its available if really wanted?

November 28, 2011 | 1:03 am

It would be nice !

Thanks in advance.

November 28, 2011 | 2:00 am

I did it using Adobe Acrobat Pro. Basically just spidered the HTML representation. But I don’t think there is an HTML version

January 18, 2012 | 12:12 am

Version 6 is available! Would be nice in pdf please! (^_^)

January 18, 2012 | 12:18 am

Where? Is it online? In HTML format?

January 18, 2012 | 12:31 am

Yup… :)

im just doing a spidered copy myself, i can email to you so you can upload to your site if wanted dhjdhjdhj?

hope all is well!

fly pro!

January 18, 2012 | 12:50 am

Ah, just found it — ok — spidering it now with Acrobat Pro

January 18, 2012 | 1:07 am

Well, Acrobat doesn’t seem to want to spider it — it gets stuck and gives up, I only get the first page.


January 18, 2012 | 9:49 am

Flypro did you get it? :)

January 19, 2012 | 10:39 pm

@dhjdhjdhj Same problem with me. I have tried with no results, i only get the first page.

February 5, 2012 | 4:27 pm

bummer.. anybody any luck so far? I’d love to be able to read it offline on my ipad

February 26, 2012 | 7:09 pm

nothing so far…..

im still trying, i think i may end up doing page by page!

ill let everyone know when its done :)

February 26, 2012 | 7:17 pm

Page by page??? thats crazy! (^_^)

I cant believe that we havent a pdf file or something worst, i havent a help in spanish!

February 29, 2012 | 1:09 am

just an update the max 5 pdf is still available here:

if anybody wants it or alternatively download

form user dfgdfg here:

please remember this is for max 5pdf only — 6 to come ;)


March 3, 2012 | 1:11 am

Isnt there anybody from cycling74 on this forum that can help? Or is it against their policy?

My Max stuff improves so much when I do offline reading while travelling… I’d love to have it.

March 3, 2012 | 4:06 pm

im still waiting for a spanish manual

March 3, 2012 | 7:37 pm

you know about this?
(disclaimer: i don´t speak spanish mayself)

March 3, 2012 | 11:01 pm

Kochhw i bought this book but i would like to have a spanish document i think i have same rights than other people who buy max msp

March 3, 2012 | 11:33 pm

I just did some underlying page queries to see why Adobe couldn’t download it properly.
As far as I can tell, this document is xml-based with xsl and Adobe Acrobat can’t handle it. It needs a renderer.

March 4, 2012 | 12:47 pm

@dhjdhjdhj then do you thing there is a solution?

March 4, 2012 | 2:22 pm

Well, often the whole point of keeping data in a format like XML is so that different tools and different renderers can be used to provide different outputs. For example, this is how one would support output to different formats suitable for desktop, tablets, phones and even audio for those who have visual issues.
However, I would have thought that if cycling74 had a renderer for PDF, they would have provided a PDF version already.

In the meantime, one solution would be to have the entire documention (complete with renderer) downloadable so that it could be viewed in a regular browser offline. That woud of course require that all hyperlinks in the documentation be relative, which is probably the case.

March 7, 2013 | 12:50 pm

I’ve put the code up at GitHub:

A bit rough, no doc, etc. But a decent start. Only generates the tutorials for now.

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Forums > MaxMSP